When John Mazur wanted to integrate paintings into Material Objects, his art space and vintage store in Jamesport, North Fork newcomer Mary Cantone was an obvious choice for collaboration.
The space, located in the same building that houses Sherwood House Vineyards’ tasting room, has changed in the last two months. It is still home to repurposed and found objects, vintage items, reclaimed wood pieces and the like, but now, when you step into the store, dozens of paintings adorn the walls.
“We’ve always had some kind of art and craft in the space,” Mazur said. “But this is on a larger scale.”
When Mazur met Cantone and learned more about her reputation as an established art collector and owner of the William Ris Gallery in New Jersey, he invited her to join Material Objects. They began hanging the art on Feb. 15 and were ready for visitors five days later.
The venture is called William Ris East.
“There’s a good synergy between what we do,” he said. “The materials, antiques, architectural work — the organic qualities to the paintings that reflect the indigenous landscape. They complement each other.”
The seascapes, still life oil paintings, sculpture and pottery that make up Cantone’s collection are displayed alongside the ladders, tables, shelves and light fixtures fashioned by Mazur.
“There’s layers and layers of value to art beyond the dollar value,” Cantone said. “This is a thriving area of art and artists. That’s what really prompted me to want to do this.”
Cantone came to Long Island a year ago, when she bought a house in Jamesport to be closer to her children who live between Manhattan and the North Fork. With her she brought a taste for fine art — mostly paintings — and a portfolio of Eastern seaboard artists whom she’s represented for over a decade.
“I’m not limited to any particular style, genre or medium,” she said. “I want something that will strike an assortment of tastes.”
Most of Cantone’s career was spent as a space planner and designer, but she’d been involved in the family business since adolescence; in 1966, her brother and mother started the William Ris Gallery, with locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Ten years ago she began working full-time for her mother, and she eventually took over ownership of the gallery.
Native Long Islander Dan Pollera is one of the regional artists that Cantone represents, with his work now hanging in the Jamesport location.
“I paint in a realistic style and convey a strong sense of light, with coastal subject matter,” Pollera said. “The space [Material Objects/William Ris East] is diverse, with a wide range of work, which makes it very interesting and unique.”
While Cantone brought with her a portfolio of artists, she’s hoping to incorporate more local and regional artists as time goes on.
“My aim is to tap into the talent on the North Fork,” she said.
Material Objects and William Ris East are located at 1291 Main Road in Jamesport; hours are Thursday-Monday, 11-5 p.m. For more information about William Ris East, email Cantone at email@example.com.